“Babe, you have got to stop going to so many fires,” Iris said, when her husband finally stopped coughing.
“I’m all right,” Barry replied hoarsely. “Super-fast healing lungs, remember?”
Iris wasn’t moved. “Even if they do heal quick, I can’t imagine getting a bunch of ash into your throat is a good thing,” she said. “Also, who did you even save tonight?”
Barry’s cheeks went pink; Iris already knew the answer — Cicso had told her — but she wasn’t going to let Barry off the hook that easily.
“Mr. Bubbles and Sir Goldsworth,” Barry muttered.
“Oh, really?” said Iris. “And who are these esteemed gentlemen?”
“They’re, uh, you know... goldfish,” Barry said quickly.
“Uh huh,” Iris answered skeptically. She shook her head. “You know you can let the fire department handle a few fires, right? That’s kind of their job.”
“I know,” Barry sighed. He coughed just once more before he went on. “And I was going to. I just stopped by to make sure everything was under control, and it was. The alarm went off in plenty of time, the residents were all safe outside — even their dogs and cats.”
“But?” Iris prompted.
“But this kid was on the curb, crying, and when she saw me, she asked, and—”
“And you couldn’t say no, “ Iris finished for him when he started to cough again. She rubbed Barry’s back and sighed. “Oh, Barry,” she said. “It’s good to know that I’ll have to be the bad guy with our kids.”
“Not necessarily,” Barry managed. “I can be stern.”
Iris couldn’t help it — she laughed out loud. “Tell that to Sir Goldsworth,” she said.